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Entre Hermanos
Entre Hermanos
by Marcos Martinez - SGN Contributing Writer

Por algunos meses hemos oído reportes de violencia en contra de personas gay en el vecindario de Capitol Hill. Hoy escribo sobre algo igualmente alarmante, la violencia dentro de nuestra misma comunidad Latina LGBT.

Recienmente, ocurrió un incidente violento fuera del club en Capitol Hill donde la agencia Entre Hermanos patrocina la Noche Latina, que se realiza cada domingo por la noche. Desafortunadamente, las personas involucradas en este incidente habían atendido nuestro evento.

Sin entrar en mucho detalle, puedo decir que un desacuerdo se volvió violento fuera del club, y cuatro personas fueron lesionadas. Fueron a dar al hospital, pero gracias a Dios ninguna con heridas graves.

Sería fácil decir que esto no tiene nada que ver con nosotros, ya que este incidente ocurrió afuera del club, sin embargo considero que eso sería tratar de ignorar el problema. Mejor, debemos tomar este horrible incidente como una oportunidad para discutir la violencia que a veces ocurre entre nosotros; para tratar de entender y así movernos hacia alguna solución.

No pretendo tener la solución, de hecho, acabo de llegar a Seattle y no conozco muy a profundo ni su comunidad ni su historia. Sin embargo, si puedo postular preguntas y puntos de vista con mi perspectiva como persona nueva en este escenario.

Hay que mencionar que aunque la mayoría de las personas involucradas fueron Latinos, la persona que cometió la violencia, según testigos, no lo es. No obstante, esto nos causa gran inquietud por haber ocurrido en nuestra comunidad. Algo así puede reforzar los estereotipos de los Latinos como violentos. Además, esta violencia puede darle energía al sentimiento anti-inmigrante que ya existe. Veamos que en la comunidad Afro-Americana, se ha visto en años recientes un reconocimiento del crimen cometido de negro-contra-negro. Con honestidad y valor se va examinando este fenómeno, con el fin de reducirlo. Podremos nosotros hacer lo mismo? Me doy cuenta que en la comunidad LGBTQ, se empieza a reconocer a la violencia doméstica como un tema que necesitamos solucionar. Tal vez el incidente del fin de semana se podría ver como violencia doméstica en nuestra familia Latina LGBTQ.

Quizá esta violencia es una expresión de lo que se llama opresión interiorizada, cuando integrantes de un grupo oprimido atacan a sus semejantes. Una solución sería el concientizarnos con respecto a estas fuerzas invisibles, y encontrar formas sanas de expresar la frustración y el coraje que sentimos.

Y claro hay también que ejercer la responsabilidad personal. El hecho de ser oprimido no nos da licencia de cometer atropellos. Si cometemos ofensas, aun así tenemos que pagarlas. Dejemos de aceptar y tolerar la violencia en nuestras comunidades. Debemos establecer estándares de comportamiento sanos y apegarnos a ellos. Con ese fin, hemos reforzado la seguridad en nuestros eventos, y no toleramos ningún disturbio.



For some time now we've been hearing about hate crimes and hateful attitudes expressed toward GLBTQ people in the Capitol Hill area. Today I'm writing about something just as heart-breaking and hurtful; violence committed within and among our own LGBTQ community.

Recently, there was a violent incident outside the nightclub where we host Noche Latina on Sunday nights. Unfortunately, those involved in this altercation were patrons of our event that night.

Without going into all the details, I can say that an argument escalated and turned violent, and as a result four people were sent to the hospital that night. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.

This assault took place outside the nightclub, so it would be easy for us to argue that this has nothing to do with us. But wouldn't that ignore the problem? And shouldn't we take this awful event as an opportunity to engage in some type of dialogue about the wellbeing of our community and at least nudge at the question of why these things occur?

In the interest of disclosure, let me say that I'm still very new to this area, so I don't pretend to know the Seattle LGBTQ community or its history in any depth. What I can do though is to raise questions and point to issues that arise in my newcomer mind.

I'll start by noting that several of the people involved in this incident are Latinos, although the alleged perpetrator is reportedly not a Latino. Still, violence in the Latino community adds an extra layer of concern for us. Will this simply reinforce stereotypes about Latinos being violent? Will it fuel the already simmering anti-immigrant sentiment? In recent years, social activists have opened up a dialogue on the subject of black-on-black crime, and its root causes. We should follow this brave honest example. I know that domestic violence in the LGBT community is emerging from the shadows as an issue that can no longer be ignored. Perhaps the incident last weekend could be seen as a type of domestic violence, involving our Latino LGBTQ family.

This type of violence could be seen as an expression of the internalized oppression that many marginalized groups experience. People who are hated by the larger society often turn against each other. One way to address this is by working to better understand our social conditioning and find more productive ways to channel our rage. And the other side of the coin is personal responsibility. Everyone is still accountable for their actions, so you can't do harm and get away with it because you've been oppressed. We can't accept or tolerate violence in our communities as the norm; we must set standards and hold ourselves to them. In keeping with that, we have instituted tighter security at our events, and will eject anyone who is causing a problem.
 

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